Spare-time job research

Does a spare-time job improve school outcomes of pupils in lower-secondary schools and prevent crime?

Time period:


Target group:

Pupils aged 13-17. Individuals in this target group have been selected on the basis of the birth register.


The researchers have studied whether a spare-time job can increase school commitment and reduce the tendency to commit crime. A spare-time job may influence the values of the individual, work ethics and self-esteem, among others because the individual in the job is integrated into a new and grown-up network. This will result in better results in school and less crime. 

The study has used quantitative methods for analysis of Danish population panel data. The study focuses on which effect a spare-time job has on the student in proportion to education; alarming school absenteeism (the teacher registers absenteeism), school grades (for example results of the Danish spelling exam) and the tendency to commit crime. For young people above the age of criminal responsibility the tendency to commit crime is measured by charges in the register of the Danish National Police. For young people below the minimum age of criminal responsibility the tendency to commit crime is measured by contact to the police, which would have resulted in a charge if the young had been above the minimum age of criminal responsibility.     


Preliminary results of the register-based analysis shows that if students work in a spare-time job it decreases school absenteeism and crime, while it increases school grades. In particular, the research group find that an individual, aged 13-17, working in a spare-time job for 30 hours per month has 14 % less school absenteeism, 10 % higher grades in school, and is 20 % less likely to commit non-traffic related offence.

This effect is robust and the same size for each sex, school subjects and types of absenteeism. A spare time job prevent, especially, property crime but also violation of the Drugs Act.

Besides that, the effect increases with the number of hours of spare-time job on absenteeism, school grades and property crime, with a decreasing rate.    

Project group

Anna Piil Damm

H bldg. 2621, 15
P +4587165146
P +4529649720

Mads Uffe Pedersen

H bldg. 1322, 214
P +4587165771
P +4560202711

Rune Vammen Lesner

Assistant Professor


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